'She the North:' Mississauga celebrates U.S. Open champ Bianca Andreescu's historic win
Bryann Aguilar, CP24.com
Published Sunday, September 15, 2019 6:42AM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, September 15, 2019 9:23PM EDT
U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu was showered with gifts from her hometown of Mississauga, the city of Toronto, and even Drake during Sunday's "She The North" rally celebrating her historic win.
The rain did not stop thousands of people from attending the rally at Celebration Square to cheer for the 19-year-old champion. Several dignitaries were also present including Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, MPP Lisa Macleod, and Toronto Mayor John Tory.
Andreescu, who is currently ranked 5th in the world, was presented the Key to the City by Mayor Bonnie Crombie.
"It's not something you do often," Crombie said.
"Your most graceful and modest approach towards embracing your successes has embodied the values of both Mississauga, Ontario and Canada."
The Canadian tennis star also has a street named after her – Andreescu Way. The precise location of the street has not been announced.
"This is crazy," said Andreescu. "I never thought I would have my own parade before."
Andreescu, who trained at Mississauga's Ontario Racquet Club, defeated tennis superstar Serena Williams in straight sets last weekend to become the first Canadian to win a singles Grand Slam title.
"What's happening in Canadian sports this year has been so beautiful to watch and so inspiring," she said.
Andreescu thanked the fans, Tennis Canada, her family, her team and her friends for supporting her.
"Every tournament I go to, I see Canadians everywhere and it's so beautiful to see. I'm truly blessed."
Tennis Canada is hoping that Andreescu's victory will garner funding for indoor tennis courts.
“Since Bianca's win, we've been inundated with inquiries from all across the country from all ages and diverse backgrounds,” said Jennifer Bishop, chair of Tennis Canada's Board of Directors. “From large cities and small communities, all wanting to know how and where they can start playing tennis.”
Trudeau, who is in the middle of an election campaign, said Andreescu is an inspiration to all Canadians, and an embodiment that young people are not the leaders of tomorrow but leaders today.
He also acknowledged Andreescu's parents, Maria and Nicu, for raising an extraordinary daughter.
"Thank you as well for all those years ago, choosing Canada to start and launch your family because in this country, anything is possible."
Other gifts Andreescu received include a Bianca Andreescu Day on Sept. 16 in Toronto, which Tory declared during the rally. He also gave the teen a "Home is Toronto" crew sweater.
“It's one thing to win a major sports championship, this may be the single biggest sports achievement in Canadian history, it's another thing how you do it,” Tory said. “It's about how she handled the win. She did us so proud as Canadians.”
Since her historic win, she has appeared on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ and ‘The View’ and was even congratulated by Drake after calling out the rapper for failing to reach out to her in the immediate aftermath of her win.
Drake did not attend the rally, but he sent some October’s Very Own (OVO) swag including some athletic wear.
Andreescu said she is glad that she never gave up when she faced tough times early in her young career.
"If I can do it, if Serena (Williams) can do it, if Roger (Federer) can do it, if the Raptors can do it, so can you."